Sometimes, even after you change your eating habits, exercise regularly, take hypertensive medication and make other lifestyle changes, your blood pressure may not come down. This is called resistant hypertension. It may be indicative of an underlying cause that has to be treated rather than the high blood pressure in itself.
Resistant hypertension is blood pressure that remains above goal in spite of concurrent use of three kinds of antihypertensive medication and a diuretic. A person whose blood pressure is controlled with four or more medications is said to have resistant hypertension.
Causes of resistant hypertension
Some of the secondary medical conditions that may cause resistant hypertension are:
• Hormonal imbalances and conditions
• Renal artery stenosis
• Sleep problems, like sleep apnea
Risks of resistant hypertension
People who suffer from resistant hypertension have:-
• High risk for adverse cardiovascular events
• Higher chance of renal disease
• Asymptomatic organ damage is higher in these patients
How does the doctor monitor resistant hypertension?
To understand the cause of your resistant hypertension, the doctor may need to monitor your blood pressure over 24 hours. This will give them an idea of the pattern of your blood pressure over the day. You may be asked to wear an automatic blood pressure recorder for 24 hours or check your pressure with an at-home monitor several times a day and note it down.
Treating resistant hypertension
The doctors will follow a multi pronged approach to dealing with resistant hypertension.
The treatment will involve changes in lifestyle like:-
• Following a balanced diet
• Reducing alcohol intake
• Physical activity
• Maintaining optimum weight
• Reducing stress
Treatment may also include different kinds of medication like antihypertensive agents and diuretics. People with resistant hypertension should make sure that they:-
• Take the right medications regularly
• Take the right dosage
• Have their medicines punctually
• Avoid medications or supplements that can boost blood pressure
They will also be checked for secondary causes for the resistant hypertension and if diagnosed, the underlying medical condition may be treated simultaneously.
Your doctors will work with you to find the right balance of medication, treatment and wellness changes to treat your resistant hypertension.